In Telemachus Stephen remembers how "all prayed on their knees" around his mother's deathbed, and he recalls words from that prayer: "Liliata rutilantium te confessorum turma circumdet: iubilantium te virginum chorus excipiat" (“May the troop of confessors, glowing like lilies, surround you. May the choir of virgins, jubilant, take you in”). His thoughts return to these words at the end of the same chapter, and also in Scylla and Charybdis, Circe, and Ithaca. The echo at the end of Telemachus is particularly interesting, because it aligns with thoughts that Bloom has at the end of his first chapter and possibly fixes the time at which both chapters are concluding.
Thornton notes that E. R. Steinberg traced the Latin words to a prayer contained "in most Roman Catholic Rituals," intended to be spoken by the sick person's bedside "during the death agony." Gifford further notes that this prayer for the dying is included in the Catholic Layman’s Missal, which remarks that “In the absence of a priest, these prayers for commending a dying person to God, may be read by any responsible person, man or woman.”
§ Very near the end of Telemachus, isolated phrases from the Latin sentences return to the text, now printed on three separate lines: "Liliata rutilantium. / Turma circumdet. / Iubilantium te virginum." Visually, this arrangement recurs near the end of Calypso, when Bloom listens to the bells of St. George's and thinks, on three separate lines, "Heigho! Heigho! / Heigho! Heigho! / Heigho! Heigho!"
Why these corresponding structures at the end of the two chapters? In James Joyce's Dublin (Thames & Hudson, 2004), Ian Gunn and Clive Hart argue that Stephen's three lines should be taken to imply, as do Bloom's, that the time is 8:45 AM: "Although, in keeping with Stepen's modes of thought and perception, the physical fact remains unstated at the end of Telemachus, a bell is ringing, probably from a clock tower in Kingstown, to correspond with the chimes from St George's Church. Both Stephen and Bloom set off to confront the world a little after a quarter to nine" (27).
If this line of reasoning seems too ingenious, the reader should consider what happens in the narrative of Ithaca. As Stephen prepares to leave the garden behind Bloom's house, both men hear the bells of St. George's ringing once more, and perceive dissimilar "echoes." Stephen recalls words from the prayer for the dying: "Liliata rutilantium. Turma circumdet. / Iubilantium te virginum. Chorus excipiat." Bloom again recalls the nursery rhyme refrain: "Heigho, heigho, / Heigho, heigho." The fact that Bloom now hears only two four-syllable lines fixes the time as 1:30 AM. And, significantly, Stephen too hears only two lines of text, not three as before.